Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.
The ability for manufacturers and suppliers to connect has never been more important. The domestic supply chain is quickly evolving due to advanced manufacturing breakthroughs and growing demand for electric vehicles, solar batteries and other high-tech innovations.
It’s National Bake Week here in the U.S. If you’re celebrating in your own kitchen, you may find yourself needing some aluminum foil. Whether you need a sheet of foil to keep that apple pie warm or you’re making something in an aluminum foil baking pan, foil has lots of uses in a baker’s kitchen. Here at NIST, we do a different kind of baking, but we often use the same foil you use in your own kitchen. You won’t see our creations on The Great British Baking Show, and you definitely don’t want to eat them.
Manufacturing is Indiana’s largest industry sector, accounting for 26% of the state’s economic output and employing more than 520,000 Hoosiers. Cutting-edge partnerships, programs and collaborations have resulted in Indiana leading the nation in developing new and better manufacturing workers. As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve with new opportunities, Indiana remains committed to innovative collaborations that ensure awesome opportunities for Hoosiers, manufacturers and partners across the country. Find out more about what specifically makes Indiana a national leader in this critical area.
Jessica Ingle is like a lot of women who are juggling work, family and life. And she’s managed to excel at it all, including her 18 years of climbing the career ladder at Impact Washington, the Washington state MEP Center and part of the MEP National NetworkTM. As she reflects on Women’s History Month, she’s thrilled to see more women joining the manufacturing world. “We can bring a unique perspective to this community that historically has been mostly male. And with new perspectives comes innovation,” Ingle says.
Achieving business excellence within a company comes from optimizing a work environment to deliver desired goods and services. Lean manufacturing is a production method aimed primarily at reducing times within the production system as well as response times from suppliers and to customers. Companies employ this strategy to increase efficiency. By receiving goods only as they need them for the production process, it reduces inventory costs and waste, resulting in increased productivity and profit.
We know that the existing workforce development system isn’t working as efficiently as it could, so companies need to try every strategy in the book to retain their workers (rather than expect to replace departing workers with new ones).
Asia Dillon is not your average 15-year-old high school student in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has already made a name for herself as a manufacturer. Asia is the owner of Sassy A Cosmetics. Asia sees opportunities where others might not. For example, her younger sister suffers from eczema, which makes her lips so dry that they crack and peel. Asia’s sister didn’t like the lip balm their mother gave her. From this experience, Asia saw there was a need for a new and different kind of lip gloss. She wanted to create something that would soothe her sister’s lips – using all natural ingredients. Sassy A’s product line has grown to include lipsticks, lip creams and lip balms. With a love for science and for mixing things together, it’s easy to see how this ambitious teen ended up in the manufacturing industry.
Many manufacturing companies, in North Dakota, are having record sales and deliveries as we are digging out from under the last few years. They are getting back to “Normal”, but many still struggle with supply chain issues, workforce issues and fighting fires every day.
For more than 20 years, Rodney Reddic has been with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC). He currently serves as TMAC’s Interim Executive Director. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the Texas manufacturing industrial base. Reddic enjoys helping manufacturers make improvements that streamline their production processes and eliminate unnecessary activities. He especially enjoys working with companies to develop new plant layouts. Improving processes also improves work quality of life for employees. Reddic feels deeply about the importance of TMAC’s mission and the work of the entire MEP National Network. He looks forward to continuing his service to TMAC and helping Texas manufacturers succeed.
Toyin Kolawole is the founder and CEO of Iya Foods, a nourishment-focused food company inspired by her African roots and located in Illinois. Toyin brought her childhood entrepreneurial life, education, career experience and home recipes together to found Iya Foods, a client of IMEC. Sharing these experiences with the world is at the very core of Iya Foods – its mission is “to share love through food.” “Manufacturing adds tangible value that truly makes people’s lives better. People have to eat, people need medicine, people need cars to get around. Manufacturing is unified in its purpose of producing items people want so they can be their best selves,” says Toyin. Toyin’s story is just one of many from across the MEP National Network that highlights the profound impact Black Americans have on the manufacturing industry. While February is Black History Month, their achievements and contributions to their communities and the country overall are seen year-round.